American-Made Challenges


CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize

Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric applications (CABLE) Prize for materials inventors

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed


Challenge Overview

Conductive materials are fundamental to nearly all energy use applications. Developing manufacturing processes for conductivity-enhanced materials in motors, generators, and renewable power technologies could lower costs and climate impacts while improving energy efficiency and other performance.

The competition aims to unite a diverse collection of researchers and inventors to develop transformative, cost-effective approaches and technologies to accelerate American entrepreneurship and pinpoint pathways for further research and development funding and technology transition efforts.

The Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and thermal applications (CABLE) Conductor Manufacturing Prize aims to help supercharge our U.S. energy and manufacturing industries. Competitors must demonstrate significant enhancements in conductivity and affordability that enable U.S. manufacturers to leapfrog to next-generation materials.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO)launched the CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize to encourage such breakthrough conductivity-enhanced materials. Up to 4 Grand Prize winners will be selected in this three-stage, three-year contest.


CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Stage Overview

Stage 1 (CLOSED):

Competitors submitted their breakthrough concepts to develop and manufacture a new, affordable, conductivity-enhanced material useable for electrical or thermal applications. Ten winners each received $25,000 in cash awards and a stipend for third-party testing of their material in Stage 2 of the prize. Stage 1 of the prize helped inform DOE about the minimum-conductivity enhancement and other property standards, as well as the types of support that competitors will likely need from DOE national laboratories or other American-Made Challenges Network providers in the next two stages of the prize. 


Stage 2 (OPEN December 2021):

Competitors will provide a sample of their material for electrical conductivity testing according to prize requirements to be published in early Winter 2021. Competitors will also provide preliminary plans to scale-up and manufacture the material. Up to 6 competitors each will win $200,000 in cash awards and $100,000 in noncash voucher support to work with a DOE national laboratory (including user facilities) or other American-Made Challenges Network provider in Stage 3. Any eligible entity can compete in Stage 2 regardless of whether they were a competitor in Stage 1. 

Stage 3:

Competitors successful in Stage 2 will develop a larger sample of their conductivity-enhanced material. Competitors also must provide substantial background information on how the sample was made and plans to commercialize the material. At least three testing organizations will evaluate each material sample for conductivity and other characteristics. Scores will be based, in part, on the conductivity enhancement (size and extent of breakthrough), other important material characteristics, and leapfrog manufacturability and affordability. Up to 4 competitors will split a total prize pool of at least $2,000,000.


You can review the Stage 1 official rules or the Stage 2 rules when they are ready here



View legal agreement


Updates 13

Challenge Updates

We Want to Hear From You: Stage 2 Testing Requirements

Nov. 19, 2021, 2:44 p.m. PST by NREL Challenge

Dear CABLE Prize community, 

The CABLE Prize Needs YOUR Feedback! The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) on behalf of DOE. This RFI is intended for the Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric and thermal applications (CABLE) community and broader material testing industry to provide feedback on CABLE Prize Stage 2 documentation, testing requirements, and specifications as well as on potential vendors for the testing itself. 

In Stage 2, the focus will be on quantitative verification of electrical conductivity enhancement (or the equivalent) through testing and detailed documentation of costs and affordability. The RFI deadline is Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at 5 p.m. MT. Please visit the website to learn more:

Thank you, 

The CABLE Prize Administration Team

Stage 1 Winners Announced!

Oct. 8, 2021, 11:29 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Congratulations to the 10 teams that have won Stage 1 of the competition! We’d like to thank all of the competing teams for their time, effort, and impressive submissions. 

All Stage 1 entries were top quality, and the selection process was highly competitive. The prize administration team encourages competitors who were not selected in Stage 1 to continue to refine their concept based on judges’ feedback and compete in Stage 2 of the competition. If you submitted an entry to Stage 1 of the CABLE Prize, we will be reaching out with an email notification and information regarding next steps shortly.  

Next up is Stage 2 of the prize, which is tentatively scheduled to open in December 2021.

Be sure to stay engaged on the HeroX forum, where we’ll share updates about Stage 2 of the competition. 

Thank you again and congrats to our Stage 1 winners!


- The CABLE Prize Administration Team


Stage 1 Submissions Due Tomorrow by 5 p.m. ET!

Aug. 18, 2021, 8 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Dear CABLE Prize Stage 1 Competitors,


This is a quick reminder to please submit your concepts by 5 p.m. ET tomorrow, August 19


Please review the official rules document for full details about the submission package.

We strongly encourage that you upload your submissions well ahead of the 5 p.m. ET deadline so that you don't have any last-minute technical difficulties. If you run into any technical difficulties or have any questions, please email us at before the deadline. 

We look forward to receiving your breakthrough concepts!

Thank you, 

The CABLE Prize Administration Team

The CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Phase 1 submission deadline is only 1 week away!

Aug. 12, 2021, 2:43 p.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Hi, Innovators—


We know you’re hard at work putting the final touches on your CABLE Prize submissions. Remember, the submission deadline is Thursday, August 19, 2021, at 5 p.m. EDT and we’ll need to see your Cover Page, 90-Second Video, Overview Slide, Technical Narrative, Letters of Commitment or Support, and Diversity and Inclusion Plan for this submission.


Post any questions you have on the CABLE Prize forum, or email us at .


We can’t wait to see your ideas!


- The CABLE Prize Administration Team

Attention Competitors: The Stage 1 Submission Deadline is Extended to August 19!

Aug. 3, 2021, 1:26 p.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Hello CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Competitors!

The CABLE Conductor Manufacturing Prize Stage 1 submission deadline has been extended to Thursday, August 19, 2021 5 P.M. ET.

The submission deadline has been updated in the Official Prize Rules Document, which is available here and on the American-Made Challenges website.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us on the forum. 

Thank you,

The CABLE Prize Administrative Team 

Forum 15
Teams 198

Stage 1

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